Monthly Archives: December 2016

Warrandyte’s footy girls are ready to rumble

Next year is set to be ground breaking for women’s football Australia-wide, following the inception of the National Women’s competition.

Many community clubs are following suit, placing an emphasis on boosting and developing a culture of female football at their organisation.

Warrandyte Junior Football Club is no exception, looking to field a number of girls’ teams in 2017.

About 40 girls across all age groups attended the WJFC Girls’ footy open day at Warrandyte Re- serve on November 20.

Eugene Hanson, the WJFC Colts coach and a number of club leaders and Colts players ran training drills, which were completed with intense determination, despite very hot conditions.

The girls were extremely impressive and due to the growing nature of the code, WJFC is pleased to offer young girls in the community the chance to play organised football across a range of age groups.

If you are interested in being part of youth girls football at WJFC email secretary@warrandytejfc.org

Dogs attack alpacas in Wonga Park

A Wonga Park family has experienced every pet owner’s worst nightmare after nine of their 16 alpacas were viciously mauled to death by three out-of-control dogs.

On the night of November 8 two Alaskan Malamutes and one Belgian Shephard got away from their owner as they walked in an off-lead reserve. The owner frantically searched for the dogs, however, the dogs managed to access a neighbouring paddock which housed the alpacas, before launching the attack on the beloved family pets.

Eight were killed during the attack and one had to be euthanized the next morning by a local vet who attended the scene.

Warrandyte Police senior constable Daniel Logan, who assessed the scene, said it was an incredibly distressing sight with evidence of the prolonged attack spanning an area of seven acres.

It is suspected that some of the alpacas ran into a nearby creek trying to escape. The family is distraught and while they were worth a combined $10,000, the animals were very much family pets rather than livestock.

The local police and council have been dealing with countless reports of dogs in reserves and properties not being under effective control of their owners.

A spokesperson from Manningham council said the key message to come out of the awful incident is people must have effective control of their dogs at all times.

“It is so easy for dogs to take off after a small animal like a rabbit but when you can’t get them back, that leads to a much bigger problem,” the spokesperson said. “In this case the dogs have ended up in the neighboring property and this has been the outcome. The risks are huge.

“As you can imagine it’s been really upsetting for everyone involved.” The owners of the dogs have been charged with multiple offences including not having effective control of the dogs and charges for the attack itself. They are due to appear at the Ringwood Magistrates Court on December 15.

They also face considerable veterinary costs, with at least one of the surviving alpacas requiring ongoing care.

The dogs have since been seized by the council but at the time the Diary went to print no information on their future was available.

Olivigna cooks up an MBEA winner

Warrandyte has dominated the Manningham Business Excellence Awards once again with local treasure Olivigna winning the coveted top spot.

Olivigna was awarded the 2016 Business of the Year accolade at a gala dinner held at the Manningham City Council offices in mid-November, with fellow Warrandyte businesses The White Owl and Warrandyte Quality Meats highly commended for their excellent business operations and commitment to community.

It’s becoming something of a popular trend—Warrandyte taking the cake, that is—with local businesses claiming the top spot three out of four years in a row, with Quinton’s IGA and H2Pro Plumbing coming first in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Co-owner and founder of Olivigna, Anna Gallo, says she is “thrilled and humbled” to have won the 2016 award.

“To be chosen amongst such esteemed finalists really is an honour,” Anna told the Diary.

“When my husband John Di Pietro and I first dreamt up Olivigna – a place that would combine the best of Italy with the best of Australia on a beautiful stretch of rolling bushland – we always hoped people would get what we wanted to achieve; that they would see our vision and want to be a part of it.

“The award confirms they do. It reinforces that the way we bring friends and family together – to relax, to connect, to celebrate, to experience la dolce a vita on our 20 stunning acres – really is valued.

“I couldn’t be more proud of how we’ve been accepted by the community and of how we’ve been able to add to what makes this part of the world so very special.”

Olivigna took home the Accomodation and Food Services award in 2015, so to win the biggest prize of them all this year is the icing on the cake.

And it might have something to do with their move into liqueur making, with Anna’s famous limoncello now on offer and generating plenty of buzz.

Marketing manager Bea Barrett says: “The newest part of the Olivigna dream is the production of our own limoncello— the fine and famous citrusy liqueur first crafted in Italy. Ours is made to a secret family recipe using lemons we’ve grown here ourselves and alcohol we’ve distilled here ourselves. We are the only place in all of Australia to be crafting limoncello in this orchard-to-glass way.”

But it’s not just the food and wine that makes Olivigna so great, and so worthy of winning the Business of the Year Award. Bea says she hopes the judges saw Olivigna’s commitment to community as an important aspect of their business.

“We also think the judges were impressed with our contribution to the community. They recognised, we believe, the value of creating a place here in this beautiful part of the world where friends and family come together to connect, to relax, to share special occasions, to make golden memories,” Bea says.

“They recognised, too, the value of creating new jobs within the region; we currently employ more than 40 people – and of giving back to the region; we support many local charities and organisations throughout the year.”

Olivigna is a villa-restaurant, winery, olive grove, distillery and events venue nestled off Brumby’s Road in leafy South Warrandyte. Olivigna has flourished and prospered since opening in February of 2014 and is now a much loved staple of the local landscape and beyond, providing a unique dining experience that the team on deck describes as a “get-away-to-Italy vibe” on over 20 acres of great Mediterrean-like landscape.

For more information visit www.olivigna.com.au or pay them a visit at 54-56 Brumbys Rd, Warrandyte, Vic 3134.

For more information on the Manningham Business Excellence Awards, visit the website www.manninghambea.com.au

Celebrating 40 fantastic Warrandyte festivals

Warrandyte Festival 2017 will hit the town over the weekend of March 24-26. Pop it in your calendars, folks, because it’s going to be SPECtacular.

The theme is “Warrandyte Festival—since ’77: 40 Years of Fun” and it promises an extra special celebration in honour of the festival’s long-standing history in the township.

Warrandyte Festival was first held in April 1977 as an initiative of War-randyte Environment League (WEL). The idea “for all of Warrandyte to come together in a community festi- val, without the commercialism and exploitation of the more elaborate affairs closer to the city” came from Stan Stewart, local Presbyterian minister at the time and president of WEL from 1974-75.

Given the potent energy building in the Warrandyte community during the 1970s it’s not surprising more than one person suggested the town hold a festival, but in 1976, three WEL members – Patrick Nuzum, Anne Martin and Howard Geldard – got together to canvass support for it from the community, including the historical society and arts association, local traders, sporting clubs and councillors.

With a budget in hand, local lads willing to help with the sound and setup of equipment for a concert and Diary cartoonist Jock Macneish designing posters to let the town know what was afoot, the first festival got underway.

Forty years on, Warrandyte Festival is still run entirely by volunteers. As an event that has experienced longevity when many like it have finished up, it is somewhat unique in Victoria.

Warrandyte’s “big weekend” will feature much-loved events: the Grand Parade, Scouts Waterslide, Billycart Derby, Nature’s Play, Duck Race and Kids Market.

Food, of course, there will be glorious food. It’s always a good idea to bring your appetite—and dance moves.

Are you ready for this? Organisers will be putting on a ‘70s Disco! Think, “Saturday Night Festival Fever.” Get your gear out from the back of the wardrobe. I’m talking flares, Warrandyte. You know you’ve got them. Saturday night will also feature a variety of youth bands. Festival favourites Nudist Funk Orchestra will give Sunday’s Main Stage their funk- lled attention. And a blast from the past, Paradiddle – the mighty bush band who first played at the festival in 1978 and went on to close the weekend for the next 20 years – will make a special appearance. Warrandyte Festival is also creating a Light Sculpture Competition for 2017 and is asking participants to design, build and enter sculptures in a variety of categories.

“Rising Sun” is the category for schools, youth organisations and child prodigies. “Light Under a Bushel” is an adult category for those who are not professionals in this field but who are, nonetheless, in possession of inspiration.

Finally, “Sirius”. It’s the brightest star in our night sky and the category for professional artists and lighting technicians. The festival will work with applicants to identify a location that best ts the concept of their sculptures and maximises their impact. Competition requirements – voltage, safety, stability and the like – will be outlined in the application form, which is available online at warrandytefestival.org or email light@warrandytefestival.org

But wait, there’s more! A new book is being launched in honour of Warrandyte’s time-honoured festival. Warrandyte Festival Celebrating 40 Years: ‘Best One Ever!’ is a salute to both the character and continuity of Warrandyte’s unique annual celebration.

It’s a colourful story. Of concerts and camel rides, parades and whacky races. Of families tuckered out on picnic blankets as Sunday evening bands perform final tunes. And of countless volunteers radiating ideas and pitching in. It illustrates not just the fun of Warrandyte Festival but also the undeniable power of community to enrich lives.

So many good times; such a great Warrandyte tradition!

Festival lovers will be able to spot themselves over the years: on a oat in the parade, at the market, in a Sulo bin race, under lights at the front of the stage or in many other wonderful events.

The book is a limited edition and can be pre-ordered for $40 through the website: warrandytefestival.org

The Diary will bring you more on Warrandyte’s biggest event of the year in following months.

Until then, shuffle that ipod and tap into some Bee Gees dance tunes. Barry’s R & B falsetto is sure to bring on the fever!

Our CFA brigades ready for hot summer

On a warm November Sunday 200 fire fighters from 30 brigades descended on Warrandyte to train for responding to several of bush fire scenarios that could affect the area in this coming summer.

A series of exercises were conducted by volunteers from Warrandyte and Wonga Park and volunteers and career staff from the integrated South Warrandyte brigade.

Maroondah Group training manager Lt Will Hodgson said fire fighters from neighbouring areas were given an idea of the challenges faced where the Green Wedge meets metropolitan Melbourne.

The crews experienced scenarios from protecting houses in the difficult terrain of North Warrandyte to supporting a Place of Last Resort where hundreds of residents may take shelter from an oncoming bush fire.

Lt Hodgson said the logistical support of Manningham City Council and the Salvation Army allowed for a realistic exercise which gave the brigades a chance to prepare for summer.

“We are making sure the fire fighters’ skills are ready to go for summer and to give the crew leaders and strike team leaders the opportunity to plan for what they are going to do if they are tasked to provide asset protection in the greater Warrandyte area,” he said.

Warrandyte CFA captain Adrian Mullens said CFA volunteers and career staff were working together to protect the Warrandyte Community this fire season, and all year round.

“The South Warrandyte career staff are able to turn out to inci- dents quicker than the volunteers, but we will always be out supporting the community with them,” he said.

PICTURE: STEPHEN REYNOLDS